Giving birth to your baby after nine months of pregnancy takes a toll on your body. It is important to have all the rest you can get. Aside from ensuring you recuperate, you also need this confinement period to strengthen your body. This way, you can meet the demands of breastfeeding and taking care of your newborn. Eating confinement food will help in achieving this.
But what is confinement food? Read on to learn all about the meals you need to help your recovery after giving birth.
What is Confinement Food
Confinement food is healthy and nourishing food that will help you meet your nutritional demands post-delivery. Well-balanced meals include nutrient-packed portions of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates.
The purpose of eating confinement food is to get rid of “wind” in the body after giving birth. In addition, mums need to eat food that promotes blood circulation, strengthens the joints, and increases milk supply.
Confinement food in Singapore, Chinese, Malay, and Indian focus on “heating” foods. In Malay culture, there is a drink called Jamu to keep the body warm. Meanwhile, “cooling” foods are avoided.
While you are still waiting for your little one’s arrival, it is good to know what food is good for confinement. In the same vein, you should also know what food to avoid during confinement.
What Food Is Good For Confinement
Image Source: iStock
To get you started, here is a list of confinement food you can prepare after giving birth.
A breakfast of high-fibre cereal is a sure way to fill up the stomach and prevent constipation. Since breastfeeding hormones slow down the intestines, eating cereals that contain “good bacteria” would be good as they can aid in digestion.
If you want to shed some pounds, then eat eggs for breakfast. Not only does it help you eat less throughout the rest of the day, but it also contains choline which helps in a baby’s brain development.
Eat salmon at least twice a week as it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s heart-friendly. It’s also good for your newborn as it helps in a baby’s brain and eyesight development.
You should also eat a lot of spinach as it’s considered to be the most nutritious green-leafy vegetable. It contains folic acid, the nutrient that’s responsible for the production of new blood cells. Also, it has manganese which is good for bone and cartilage development.
- Abalone is known to help cleanse the blood and is rich in vitamin E and protein.
- Chinese rice wine can help promote blood circulation and invigorate major organ groups.
- Chicken can aid in boosting your mood and energy levels as it contains amino acid tryptophan.
- If you’re keen on reducing stress and improving blood circulation, try dried longan.
- Don’t forget to up your fish intake: Dory can help milk production and is a great source of Omega-3 fats and protein that will aid in milk production and has fats essential for a newborn’s brain growth.
- Carp is also known to help increase milk production.
- If you want to strengthen your limbs and joints—take fish maw.
Aside from a list of confinement food, it is handy to know which herbs will aid in your postpartum recovery. Mums use herbs in their bath, as well as in massages. Aside from that, Chinese mums also consume herbs to help restore their strength.
The following are herbs for confinement food Singapore mums can use:
- Jujube – This is more commonly known as the Chinese red date. It is packed with lots of vitamins and is added to teas, congee, and soup. You can get it fresh, dried, or sweetened.
- Ginger – This is good to increase your milk supply. It also has heat properties to keep mums warm. Furthermore, it is good for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Longan – It is often used together with jujube. It contains vitamins and minerals that help repair tissues and skin cells.
- Goji berries – They contain powerful antioxidants to help boost your immune system and fight off infections.
Meanwhile, here are some herbs you can use for your baths during your confinement period:
- Chinese Chaste Tree
- Da Feng Ai
Here is a list of places where you can buy confinement herbs in Singapore.
What foods have you been munching on after you gave birth? Is there anything that you can add to the recommended foods?
Chinese herbs | Image Source: iStock
What Food To Avoid During Confinement
Now that you have a list of confinement food, it’s time to know what should not be eating. Women who are in their confinement period are advised to avoid:
Cold & Raw Food and Drinks
Eating cold food and drinks can have a “cooling” effect on the body. This slows down your recovery process as it may lead to an upset stomach. It can also prevent your body from discharging toxins. It is best to avoid cold and raw food and beverages for this reason.
Cooling foods include coconut, green beans, watermelon, pear, radish, Chinese cabbage, water spinach, tangerine and persimmon.
You successfully avoided caffeine during your pregnancy. You can stay away from them for a few more weeks. Avoiding caffeine while breastfeeding can benefit your baby who still has a weak digestive system.
Caffeine can also elevate your heart rate. In addition, it can cause insomnia, preventing you from sleeping well, something your recuperating body needs.
Your digestive system may still be weak after giving birth. This makes you more prone to diarrhoea and constipation. Eating oily food can exacerbate irritation of your intestines. Meanwhile, salty foods can result in water retention. They can also make you more thirsty. A study also found that a higher salt preference shortened exclusive breastfeeding.
Just like caffeine, eating spicy food can have an effect on your baby if you are breastfeeding. They may have discomfort because of it, though the level differs among infants.
Aside from that, spicy food can also result in constipation for you. You may also have abdominal pain and bloating. If the condition continues, it can have an effect on the recovery of your uterus after giving birth.
How To Cook Confinement Food
Image Source: iStock
If you don’t mind preparing your own meals, or you have someone to help you with the cooking, then it’s a good idea to learn how to cook confinement food. Here are some soup recipes to get you started.
Meanwhile, here are more recipes to help boost your postpartum immunity.
It’s a good idea to cook them in batches before you give birth. Then you can store them in the freezer. When you come home from the hospital, you just need to defrost them and have a hearty meal.
Where to Buy Confinement Food in Singapore
For those who have no time to prepare their own meals, we have a list of where to buy confinement food in Singapore.
This is great so you do not have to worry about which ingredients to buy, slaving over the stove to cook food, and washing the pots and pans used after cooking. This way, you will have more time to care for the baby, and more time to rest.
We hope this article helps in preparing you for your confinement period. Your rest and recovery are of utmost importance so you can take care of your newborn.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.